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Associations between plasma levels of brominated flame retardants and methylation of DNA from peripheral blood: A cross-sectional study in a cohort of French women

Abstract : Background Brominated flame retardants (BFRs) are organic compounds that are widespread in the environment. Because of their persistence, they are able to bioaccumulate with major impacts on human health. It has been hypothesized that the effect of BFRs on human health is mediated by alterations of DNA methylation. Objective The aim of this study was to examine the association between methylation of DNA extracted from peripheral blood and circulating levels of BFRs measured in plasma. Methods We conducted a methylation wide association study on 336 blood samples from a study within the E3N (Etude Epidémiologique auprès de femmes de l'Education Nationale) cohort, a long-term longitudinal cohort of French women. DNA methylation at more than 850 000 cytosine-guanine dinucleotide (CpG) sites was measured with the Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation - EPIC BeadChip. Circulating levels of seven BFRs (BDE-28, BDE-47, BDE-99, BDE-100, BDE-153, BDE-154 and PBB-153) were measured by gas chromatography coupled to high-resolution mass spectrometry in plasma samples. The association between DNA methylation and BFRs plasma levels was assessed through linear mixed-effects models followed by gene-set enrichment analyses (GSEA). Results We identified 253 CpG sites whose methylation levels were significantly associated with exposure to BFRs after Bonferroni correction. For 50 of these CpGs the p-values were less than 2.2x10−9 with the strongest association being between BDE-154 and cg23619365 (4.32x10−13). GSEA of CpG sites associated with exposure to BFRs identified significant enrichment of genes involved in hypoxia, glycolysis and adipogenesis. Conclusions Exposure to BFRs appears to be related to numerous alterations in DNA methylation. These findings, if replicated in independent studies, provide insights into the biological and health effects of BFRs.
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Submitted on : Monday, May 9, 2022 - 2:44:58 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 11, 2022 - 3:16:46 AM

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Hanane Omichessan, Vittorio Perduca, Silvia Polidoro, Marina Kvaskoff, Thérèse Truong, et al.. Associations between plasma levels of brominated flame retardants and methylation of DNA from peripheral blood: A cross-sectional study in a cohort of French women. Environmental Research, Elsevier, 2022, 210, pp.112788. ⟨10.1016/j.envres.2022.112788⟩. ⟨hal-03662663⟩

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